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The First Step

New Era CEO Ejaz Shah

By Ejaz Shah  —  31st August 2020

If you look up the meaning of ‘apprehension’ in the Oxford dictionary you will find:

Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

‘he felt sick with apprehension’

Interestingly, the origins of the word apprehension and its meaning from late Middle English is the ‘learning, acquisition of knowledge’ and from late Latin the word ‘apprehensio(n-)’ comes from apprehendere, as to ‘seize, grasp’, as in ‘apprehend’. 

Was I apprehensive when I decided to take my first step? When I decided to pack my bags and move my young family some 6,091 kilometres (that’s around 3,785 miles!) from a country I had grown up in, from the streets I knew like the back of my hand and from the sounds I danced my daily routines to? I can tell you that every inch of my mind, my body was apprehensive. Of course I was scared of the unknown and possible bad, but alongside this notion of apprehension, was the echo to ‘apprehend’. I had to seize, to grasp this opportunity and make it a success, for me and my young family.

Couple of years in and my girls (yes, I am a proud #girldad) have flourished in their new surroundings, taking everything in their stride. I knew they would, they’re beautiful, confident girls, but I knew I had to provide them the assurance and support for them to settle in their new surroundings. I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t easy, there were tears, tantrums, and that’s just me (!) but I was confident in both mine and my wife’s perseverance. Together, I knew we had the capabilities and attitude to make this switch a success for our family.

Similarly, when I decided on this new venture, the start of NewEra, I was apprehensive. This was a big risk. However, it was a calculated and well researched risk. I was investing my time, my money into something I was passionate about and experienced about. I knew I had the strength, the capability and know-how to make this venture a success.

The first step...

So how do we deal with this notion of apprehension, this fear that holds us back from taking the first step, from venturing out and making a success of our dreams. I want to share the small pearls of wisdom and knowledge I have picked up whilst venturing out with NewEra:

the first step knowledge

1. Knowledge

I cannot express the sheer importance of knowing your business, inside out. The area you choose to venture into must be something you are both learned in and constantly learning about.

My father was a taxi driver. At the age of 15 I was helping out at the local taxi business as a part time taxi operator assistance (that title is made up, but I promise you I was there, at that age I had no choice, my father was determined that I was working and off the streets). By the age of 19 I was working part time alongside my studies as a taxi driver and a taxi operator – depending on where they needed me. After my studies I ventured into Business Development as a Manager at one of the biggest call centres in our city. It was an eye-opener and the knowledge I amassed was invaluable. In 2013 I moved back into the area I first started in, the taxi service. I worked as a Project Manager and Team Lead for one of the most successful taxi providers in my old city. 

When I made my big move to Pakistan and joined my previous employer, I came with a wealth of knowledge and experience. From front line taxi drivers, to taxi operators, and back end Project Management and Team Leads in a call centre environment, I knew it all, because I had done it all. This was my passion, my fortress. So, it was not surprising that with me onboard, alongside other talented individuals, we were able to make it into one of the largest taxi oriented outsourcing call centre’s in Pakistan.

Know your product – know it inside out. Breath it, sleep it, dream it; and surround yourself with knowledge. Have people working alongside you that are experts in their fields, so that collectively you are a force of knowledge.

visualise the first step

2. Visualise

How do you plan a journey if you do not know where you are going? How do you achieve or work towards a goal, when that goal has not been set? (I could go on, but I am hoping you have got my point – stay with me). Visualise where you want to be, what you want to achieve. Set your goals, your targets and visualise how you will get there.

I knew very early on that I wanted to build my own business, I just needed to find that niche area that I was passionate about. When I realised the time was right for me to put everything I had collated over the years into setting up my own business, I took some time out to plan. I did this backwards. I visualised where I wanted to be, what steps I needed to take to get there and how I would be able to make it work. Slowly I worked backwards to where I was in real time. I had created myself a timeline, a map, a plan to help me achieve my dream.

So, visualise, create vision boards, think backwards, forwards, whatever works for you – but remember, dream big by all means, but plan realistically.

hard work the first step

3. Hard work

I’m sorry, I have no magic formula. There are no shortcuts I’m afraid. To achieve anything, you have to put the effort in, the graft, the hard work. Key to this is not to give up when it gets hard, and hard it will get – but persevere. Perseverance, a good attitude and mindset will get you through it. Keep going, because you can succeed, if you put the effort in.

I can’t put a figure on the number of CVs (resumes) I have hand delivered in pursuit of getting a job. The number of miles – yes miles – I have walked, to save money on transport, searching for opportunities. The missed social events, the late nights, the early starts, the working-through-the-day-and-night, I have done it all. Of course, I recommend putting your health first and to look after yourself, however, when I have needed to graft, when I have needed to work hard, I have done so. 

The most reliable person you will ever meet is yourself. You will reliably, on point, every morning, either jump out of bed or press the snooze button. You know yourself. Work to your strengths and work hard.

Nothing is gifted, to achieve, you must work for it.

Comment below with stories of your journeys, your dreams, plans and how you were able to take that first step.

If you have knowledge, if you are eager to learn, if you have a dream and you don’t shy away from hard work, then join us. Let’s achieve our dreams together. NewEra provides a supportive, nurturing environment for all its workers, so if you want a new challenge, go over to our Careers Page

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4 thoughts on “The First Step

  1. This article works for me as a friend or someone elder advising you on right time right place. Worth reading and am saying this by heart.
    Looking forward to learn and realise more amazing facts and realities by new era blogs.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this blog. It was very insightful and as someone who one day will like to have his own business – inshallah, it gave me some good tips. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Thank you Sir!

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